Academics

At The Frederick Gunn School we give our students the lifelong learning and leadership skills they need to be active and responsible citizens, both locally and globally. We prepare our students for what’s next as they continue to learn and grow, in college and in life. It all begins in the classroom, yet because we are a boarding school, it intentionally spans across all of our on-campus experiences. 

Innovative learning ecosystem
Our timeless educational philosophy, with its emphasis on challenging academics, character development, curiosity, risk-taking, problem solving, and independent thinking, will meet every student where they are, while never letting them stay there. At The Frederick Gunn School, our learning ecosystem champions the interdisciplinary and experiential nature of life and learning, incorporating athletics, arts, and the outdoors into everyday life alongside ambitious academics.
 
Risk-taking and innovation
Frederick Gunn’s own entrepreneurial mindset is as relevant for our students in the twenty-first century as it was for his students in the nineteenth century. Our new Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship, houses our Entrepreneurship Program alongside our Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy and our IDEAS Lab. This entrepreneurial mindset will be integrated into every one of our programs on campus, as we prepare our students to take risks and to be makers not consumers.
 
Learning yourself and how to learn
The key to 21st century skills is the work for each of our students to understand themselves as integrated human beings who are unique as individuals and as learners. Exemplified in our Center for Academic Excellence, these priorities are found through our advising program, in our Student Progress meetings, as well as in every single classroom at Frederick Gunn.
 
Public character and active citizenship
The mission of the Frederick Gunn School is to form active citizens who will have a positive impact here on campus and out in the world. While they learn these principles explicitly through the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy, we know that it takes an ecosystem of adults committed to this work to ensure this outcome for our students.
 
A sense of rootedness and place
Exemplified by Gunn Outdoors, a sense of rootedness and place is important for all Frederick Gunn School programs, as this exemplifies Frederick Gunn’s instincts around place-based and experiential learning, a commitment to the natural world, instincts for sustainable living, and practical, life-skills outcomes for every Frederick Gunn student.
 

Teaching and Learning

Academic News

Lizzie Ribbon-Cutting_Lead Donors

On April 27, The Frederick Gunn School community celebrated Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch ’72 and 13 other generous donors, many of whom were in attendance, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation & Active Citizenship. Students and faculty were joined on the Quad for the celebration by Trustees, alumni, parents, and friends of the school, to acknowledge and thank all those who helped to make this transformational new building possible. 
 

Jason Koza, Dean of Academics

The Frederick Gunn School has named Jason Koza of Denver, Colorado, an experienced administrator and teacher, to lead its academic program as Dean of Academics beginning July 1, 2024. Koza’s appointment followed an intensive, three-month search process that drew interest from a diverse pool of applicants from across the country and around the world. 
 

Painting by Kelsey Ketchum '26

Twenty seven Gunn students enrolled in Visual Arts courses and the Technique and Artistry co-curricular program are participating in the Kent Art Association's 32nd Annual Student Art Show. An opening reception and awards ceremony were held on February 10. The gallery, located at 21 South Main Street in Kent, will be open to the public from 1-5 p.m. on February 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, and 24.
 

YMUN 50 group in session

Nineteen Highlanders in the Model United Nations co-curricular program participated in the 50th Yale Model United Nations (YMUN) conference, held January 18-21 on the campus of Yale University. This was the first time in recent memory that Gunn students joined YMUN, which attracted some 2,000 delegates from 45 countries and all 50 states.
 

Anna Damosy '24

Anna Dámosy ’24 had an exciting start to her senior year at The Frederick Gunn School. Shortly after arriving on campus for Orientation, she traveled to Oxford, England, where she received a commendation in the 2023 Global Essay Competition organized by the prestigious John Locke Institute. Dámosy received her award certificate at an invitation-only academic conference and awards dinner held September 23, 2023, at the Sheldonian Theatre at the University of Oxford.
 

Head of School Emily Raudenbush Gum with students at the opening of The Lizzie

Students and faculty celebrated the opening of The Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship with a reception on January 4, which was also the first day of classes in the new building. The stunning, 24,000-square-foot academic center was made possible through a $25 million gift from Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch ’72, the largest philanthropic commitment in the 174-year history of the school. An opening celebration for alumni, families, friends, and supporters is planned for April 27, 2024. 
 

Catherine Lu '24 with her National Merit Scholarship Program commendation certificate

Head of School Emily Raudenbush Gum announced today that Catherine Lu '24 has been named a Commended Student in the 2024 National Merit® Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®), which conducts the program, will be presented by Raudenbush Gum to the scholastically talented senior.
 

Convocation2023

Students and faculty gathered September 7, 2023, in the historic Meeting House on the Green for Convocation, which formally marked the start of the school’s 174th academic year. Emily Raudenbush Gum delivered her first welcome address as our 12th Head of School, reflecting on our school motto, and the value of what it means to be a person who is always learning.